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Couple who dealt in excess of FORTY Slovakian stranded ‘slaves’ into Britain and constrained them to work at their vehicle wash while taking £300,000 from their records to blow on betting and vehicles are imprisoned

Couple who dealt in excess of FORTY Slovakian stranded 'slaves' into Britain and constrained them to work at their vehicle wash while taking £300,000 from their records to blow on betting and vehicles are imprisoned

Joanna Gomulska (left) and Maros Tancos (right), 46, were jailed for a total of 25 years for modern slavery offences. Tancos was jailed for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy, while Gomulska was jailed for nine years for her role

Maros Tancos and Joanna Gomulska, both 46, got casualties from halfway houses
They guaranteed a superior life in the UK however constrained them to work in Bristol vehicle wash
They took a large number of pounds in neglected work and seized cash
A couple dealt in excess of 40 Slovakian ‘slaves’ and constrained them to do almost £1m worth of work free of charge to subsidize their betting dependence.

Maros Tancos and Joanna Gomulska, both 46, were the instigators of a cutting edge subjection and illegal exploitation activity in Bristol have been imprisoned for a sum of 25 years.
The pair enrolled their casualties from care homes and halfway houses, promising them consistent work and a superior life in the UK.

Yet, after showing up the UK the men would be compelled to work for no good reason in Tancos’ vehicle wash in Southmead, Bristol, and work extended periods of time in other modest positions.

Tancos would obnoxiously and genuinely misuse the men to unnerve them into accommodation, while Gomulska would act like a ‘decent cop’, causing the casualties to accept she was paying special attention to them.

She would go with them to arrangements to set up their National Insurance Number and financial balances, yet quickly seize all cards and pin numbers.

Following a surveillance operation, the NCA raided an address in Brentry, north Bristol, where they found five Slovakian men living in cramped rooms on filthy bedding and mattresses patched up with cardboard. Doodles and small messages can be seen scribbled on the walls

Following a surveillance operation, the NCA raided an address in Brentry, north Bristol, where they found five Slovakian men living in cramped rooms on filthy bedding and mattresses patched up with cardboard. Doodles and small messages can be seen scribbled on the walls
At times there would be up to 10 men living in the address, the victims said, crammed into three rooms and sharing one bathroom. This image shows the horrendous conditions in which the slaves were forced to live

At times there would be up to 10 men living in the address, the victims said, crammed into three rooms and sharing one bathroom. This image shows the horrendous conditions in which the slaves were forced to live
The victims were locked in the couple's three bedroom house and some were forced to live in the loft, having had their mobile phones, documents, bank and national insurance cards confiscated

The victims were locked in the couple’s three bedroom house and some were forced to live in the loft, having had their mobile phones, documents, bank and national insurance cards confiscated
Some of the men lived in slightly better conditions, with access to sturdy metal framed bunk beds (pictured), but they were crammed into tiny living spaces

Some of the men lived in slightly better conditions, with access to sturdy metal framed bunk beds (pictured), but they were crammed into tiny living spaces

Today, Tancos was jailed for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy, while Gomulska was jailed for nine years for her role.

Judge Martin Picton told both of them they must serve two-thirds of their sentences before they can be released, instead of the usual half.

As well as the car wash, the two defendants would sign the victims for evening and night time work such as milk packing, catching chickens for slaughter and sorting parcels.

Many ended up working 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

The pair recruited their victims from care homes and orphanages, promising them steady work and a better life in the UK. Pictured is one of the filthy Slovakian homes form which they sourced their victims

The pair recruited their victims from care homes and orphanages, promising them steady work and a better life in the UK. Pictured is one of the filthy Slovakian homes form which they sourced their victims
The apartment block pictured above was one of several orphanages and halfway houses that the Bristol-based couple used as hunting grounds. They coaxed vulnerable people living in squalor to work for them in the UK

The apartment block pictured above was one of several orphanages and halfway houses that the Bristol-based couple used as hunting grounds. They coaxed vulnerable people living in squalor to work for them in the UK
Upon arriving the UK the men would be forced to work for nothing in Tancos' car wash (pictured) in Southmead, Bristol

Upon arriving the UK the men would be forced to work for nothing in Tancos’ car wash (pictured) in Southmead, Bristol

Between 2010 and 2017, the couple funnelled £300,000 out of bank accounts set up in the names of their victims.

The cash was spent in casinos, online gambling sites and on secondhand cars.

Following a surveillance operation, the NCA raided an address in Brentry, north Bristol, where they found five Slovakian men living in cramped rooms on filthy bedding and mattresses patched up with cardboard.

The victims had hidden small quantities of change and sim cards in their socks and shoes in an attempt to stop Tancos and Gomulska taking it from them.

The NCA, in partnership with the Slovakian authorities, tracked down 42 potential victims, 29 of whom were prepared to give evidence. Pictured: Gomulska's arrest

The NCA, in partnership with the Slovakian authorities, tracked down 42 potential victims, 29 of whom were prepared to give evidence. Pictured: Gomulska’s arrest
Tacos is arrested outside a property. He was jailed today for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy

Tacos is arrested outside a property. He was jailed today for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy
On Wednesday, Tancos was jailed for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy, while Gomulska was jailed for nine years for her role. Pictured: Gomulska being arrested

On Wednesday, Tancos was jailed for 16 years for masterminding the conspiracy, while Gomulska was jailed for nine years for her role. Pictured: Gomulska being arrested
Gomulska would accompany the men to appointments to set up their National Insurance Number and bank accounts, but then immediately confiscated all cards and pin numbers (pictured at a cash point)

Gomulska would accompany the men to appointments to set up their National Insurance Number and bank accounts, but then immediately confiscated all cards and pin numbers (pictured at a cash point)
Joanna Gomulska is pictured leaving a property in Bristol under surveillance

Joanna Gomulska is pictured leaving a property in Bristol under surveillance
Maros Tancos is pictured under surveillance leaving a property in Bristol

Maros Tancos is pictured under surveillance leaving a property in Bristol
The NCA, in partnership with the Slovakian authorities, tracked down 42 potential victims, 29 of whom were prepared to give evidence against Tancos (pictured) and Gomulska

The NCA, in partnership with the Slovakian authorities, tracked down 42 potential victims, 29 of whom were prepared to give evidence against Tancos (pictured) and Gomulska

At times there would be up to 10 men living in the address, the victims said, crammed into three rooms and sharing one bathroom.

The seized iPhones of the two defendants revealed they had been behind applications for employment agencies, bank accounts and multiple loans in their victims’ names.

They had a library of photos of bank cards, pin numbers and their victims’ identity documents, as well as details of the flights they had booked to bring them to the UK.

The NCA, in partnership with the Slovakian authorities, tracked down 42 potential victims, 29 of whom were prepared to give evidence.

Tancos and Gomulska were prosecuted for offences against 15 men.

In March, both were convicted of nine offences related to human trafficking and forced labour, and one count of conspiracy to acquire criminal property.

The NCA believe the true victim count could be considerably higher, as there were many people they were unable to track down.

Jailing Tancos and Gomulska at a sentencing hearing at Bristol Crown Court on Wednesday, Judge Picton said:

‘You identified potential victims by reference to their circumstances, their financial and social vulnerability – people with little by way of alternative.’

He added:

‘The victims had cash value to you in the same way cattle would to a farmer.’

Addressing Gomulska, he said: ‘You gave the appearance of having some insight and some sympathy, but your experience did not deter you from supporting your partner in what you knew full well was a criminal enterprise.

‘You had choices and you made the wrong ones.’

The victims were locked in the house when they were not at work, but one said even if they could have unlocked it, they were so intimidated they would not have felt able to leave.

They were regularly forced to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and made to share identities, so they could go and work in manual jobs they had not applied for.

The defendants even pocketed tips given to the men by motorists using the car wash and one man was forced to go to work the day after breaking his arm.

One victim described the house they were held in as ‘a gate to hell’.

‘I went there because I wanted to provide for my family and give them more than what they had in Slovakia but the life that I had in Maros’ house changed my life completely,’

he said.

‘I was not allowed to leave the house and the only thing I knew was work. All the time I was thinking that I was a slave there. I thought there was no way back.’

Another, who was held for eight years, said the couple had ‘destroyed half my life’.

‘The way I was humiliated, for every little thing I was hit and punished. I will never forget that,’

he said.

‘Nobody can understand what I experienced over there unless they were there as well.’

Tancos gave a no comment interview, while Gomulska claimed she had only given people lifts too and from the car wash.

She said the living conditions for the workers were good, claiming they had heating, hot showers and a clean house where they could eat whatever they cooked.

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